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MonkeyNotes-Henry IV, Part 2 by William Shakespeare
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Act IV, Scene 4

Summary

King Henry IV is lying in the Jerusalem Chamber. Princes Thomas of Clarence and Humphrey of Gloucester, Warwick, and others enter. The King addresses the group; he says if civil order is restored and his health improves then he will lead England to the Holy Land. Th King wishes for a state where wonít be any revolts. The youth, instead of drawing theirs swords, will engage themselves in higher fields. The powers of the armed forces will be collected and invested and everything will move according to the wishes of the King. When he inquires about Hal, he is told that the Prince may be hunting in the forest. He asks Thomas of Clarence why he is not with his brother whom he loves. The King advises Thomas to be with Hal in the future when Hal will be the king. The King further comments on Halís character. If Hal is humored, he is gracious and kind of heart, if aroused he can be fiery. Therefore he must be carefully studied. Though younger to him, Clarence must reprove him when the Prince is careless and irresponsible and must handle him tactfully. In this way Clarence will prove to be a strong support to Prince Henry. When the King comes to know from Clarence that the Prince is dining in the company of Poins and other low subjects, he grieves for his son and heir.


He wonders sadly what will happen to the welfare of England when Henry becomes King. Warwick comforts the King by saying that the King is actually misjudging his son who is not an irresponsible young man. He is mixing freely with his low subjects to understand about all levels of people. He is schooling himself about the state of affairs of the people in England. Warwick further predicts that Hal will ďturn past evils to advantages.Ē Westmoreland enters and brings happy news. He conveys the news that Mowbray, York, and Hastings are arrested and brought under control. There is not a rebel anywhere and peace flourishes. The King is happy to hear the news and says Westmoreland is like a summer bird singing the beginning of a new day. Harcourt arrives and reports that Northumberland and Bardolph are captives. All this good news does not improve the health of the King. Warwick is sure that he will recover. Thomas of Clarence is more realistic; he points out that incessant care and labor has brought his father close to death. Thomas is reminded of the fact that the river Thames has overflowed its banks three times just as it had done before Edward IIís death. The King asks to be removed to another chamber.

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